One of the biggest news to come out of the Indian team selection for the Nidahas Trophy 2018 was the surprise and baffling omission of Mayank Agarwal, who has taken the Indian domestic season by storm.
He scored 1160 runs in Ranji Trophy and 633 runs in ongoing Vijay Hazare Trophy; yet was unable to find a spot in the Indian team. It may have been because of his inability to score big runs in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, but he had a strike rate of 144.94 in the tournament.
Agarwal scored runs across all formats and for different teams as well, but it seems that selectors saw his performance in T20 format as the criteria for not selecting him in the Nidahas Trophy. 258 runs in Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy were enough for them to not select him, despite Agarwal hitting the first ball of Karnataka’s chase against Maharashtra in the semi-finals of the Vijay Hazare Trophy for a six.
Mayank Agarwal, talking about his performance so far in an interview with Cricbuzz.com, said, “I was looking at the field setting and I thought they gave me more than just a hint that they were trying to bounce me out. Also because when we played against Maharashtra in the Ranji Trophy as well and that was their plan. When I saw the field... there were clear cut signs of him bowling short. I was quite ready for it. The next ball also, I knew, if he bowls it up it will be in the slot. I am not trying to hit the ball too hard but it did go for four, so it was nice.”
He further said, "To be honest, I feel I'm in good mind space and I want to stay there. I'm not thinking too much, I'm not trying too much. I'm just respecting the fact that I've been batting well, going out and doing what I've been doing. Hopefully, I can continue to do so for as long as I can."
His season's total collection now stands at 2051, with one match still to go. He broke the record of Dinesh Karthik’s record of 607 runs in Vijay Hazare trophy in 2017.
Talking about his record breaking season, Mayank said, “We don't speak about the records. We all talk about the process, and how we are here to win the tournament. Personally, yes, it might mean something, but no individual is bigger than the team and we're all quite interested in winning the tournament first. It's a great feeling to have scored these many runs. But it's an even better feeling that these runs have contributed to Karnataka's win. So, I think a contribution to a winning cause makes me more happier. It'll be really nice if we can go out there in the final and perform the way we have been and win the trophy.”
Mayank Agarwal will definitely look forward to the upcoming IPL season to cement his claim for an India team berth.